The Twelfth Annual International Law and Religion Symposium, “Religion and the World’s Legal Traditions,” 2-4 October 2005

Religion provides the basis for many legal traditions and is deeply intertwined with legal practice and history. Discussion of the role of religion in the world’s legal traditions at the Twelfth Annual Symposium was broad and far-ranging, and brought together academics from Morocco to New Zealand and judges and government officials from Uruguay to Pakistan. The 95 participants came from 48 countries, which provided a great diversity of perspectives on the role of religion and the world’s legal traditions. Keynote addresses were delivered by Senator Robert Bennett of the United States Senate and Ravil Ismagilovich Gainutdinov, Head of the Russian Council of Mufti. Plenary sessions addressed questions of “Evolving Models for Relations of Religion and the State,” “Religious Law and Secular Legal Systems” and “The Judiciary and Religion in Society.” After the conference, some participants further developed their papers, which were then published in the annual law and religion symposium issue of the BYU Law Review. During the conference, the Center’s Distinguished Service Award was presented to James E. Wood, Jr., Honorary President, International Academy for Freedom of Religion and Belief; Former Director, Institute of Church-State Studies, Baylor University.